If the number of people following your Twitter handle is small, you probably won’t even notice it. But for the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone, the drop in the number of followers is likely to be visible. In a major crackdown on fake profiles, Twitter will be removing hundreds of thousands of fake accounts globally this week.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation," Twitter said.
Who all are going to be affected by the Twitter crackdown?
Twitter says it is removing only those accounts that are already locked by it, which means that active accounts will remain untouched. So if your Twitter handle is locked, then you are in for trouble.
For others, the only effect will be a drop in the number of followers, in case they have fake followers. On average, the follower count will go down by four but for those having over thousands of followers the effect can be significant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has 43.4 million followers, making him the third most followed person on Twitter globally.
In India, Amitabh Bachchan has the second largest following after Modi. Cricketers Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar are also in the list of top 10 most followed Indians on Twitter. The effect, it is being estimated, will be most on such Twitter heavyweights.
Why is Twitter doing it?
Twitter has been under fire from several quarters over the menace of fake profiles that spam, impersonate others, abuse users and create trouble for genuine Twitteratis. Twitter says it has been locking accounts over the years, as part of its effort to encourage healthy conversation on Twitter.
Since follower counts are a visible feature, Twitter wants everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate.
What are locked accounts on Twitter?
Twitter locks certain accounts when it notices sudden changes in behaviour like tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them. A locked account cannot tweet, retweet or even like another tweet.
After locking the Twitter handle, the social media company emails the owner to validate the account by resetting their passwords. Till then the Twitter handle owner can’t even log into the site.